Student Finds Undiscovered Letter from Thomas Jefferson. Cool.

December 4th, 2009

These are the stories historians dream of. From CNN:

Amanda Daddona said she discovered a personal letter from Thomas Jefferson amid one of 200 boxes of legal documents, minutes from meetings and day-to-day correspondence of a prominent Delaware family. Daddona found the letter last month in an unmarked folder among archives from the Rockwood Museum in Wilmington, Delaware. The archives, which the library received as a gift this year, contain the keepsakes and papers of the Bringhurst family, early members of Delaware’s elite society.

The letter, dated February 24, 1808, is addressed to Dr. Joseph Bringhurst, who had informed Jefferson in an earlier correspondence about the death of their mutual friend John Dickinson. Dickinson, a notable Delaware politician in his own right, worked with Jefferson as a delegate to the Constitutional Convention of 1787. Jefferson‘s letter is a tribute to Dickinson, whom he calls “among the first of the advocates for the rights of his country.” Susan Brynteson, vice provost and director of libraries at the university, said the letter stood out to her because of the “extraordinary humility” Jefferson shows for Dickinson, who was 11 years older than the president. In it, Jefferson “calls himself a ‘junior companion’ ” of Dickinson’s labors, Brynteson said. “It is such a humble letter from a great man.”

Very, very cool.